Another Democratic Governor signs castle Doctrine

By Jim Irvine

Yesterday Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) signed “Castle Doctrine” into law. She signed a total of six bills backed by the National Rifle Association. (NRA)

NRA’s chief lobbyist Chris Cox said, “The Castle Doctrine is about putting the law back on the side of the victim, the way it’s supposed to be.” What a simple concept. This is something we all learned in grade school, yet in Ohio under Republican Governor Bob Taft our castle doctrine bill has not even had a committee hearing and there is no indication it will become law this year.

As in other states, this legislation passed with bi-partisan support. It passed with a supermajority in both houses of the Michigan legislature. Who would be opposed to a law stating that the victim of a deadly encounter is allowed to defend their life, and that they don’t have to run away until their back is up against a wall first, and they can not be sued by the criminal or his family for injuries sustained when the intended victim fights back? Who would oppose putting the burden of proof on the prosecutor to show that a person acted unlawfully? No one who has been a victim of crime or Ohio’s dysfunctional court system, and no one who understand criminals.

Several Republicans have asked me if I believe we would be better with Democrats in charge. Given the track record of the Ohio Republican party for gun owners over the last 16 years under Republican Governors Voinovich and Taft, it’s hard to see how we could have done any worse.

Consider this map showing the progress of right to carry.

There are a lot of Democrats in those states, even in leadership positions. Democratic Governors in other states sign and promote good legislation. In Ohio, RINO Governors Voinovich and Taft killed concealed carry reform for years, before HB12 was finally signed by Taft, but only after it was filled with ridicules restrictions like “plain sight.” No other state has such restrictions for a license holder.

All across the United States, after “shall issue” concealed carry laws have passed, the legislature has come back to remove onerous restrictions on gun owners. The results have been lower crime rates and more victims winning battles with their attackers. The anti-gunners are wrong. Their credibility is gone and Ohio is one of a few states that even consider their rhetoric when debating changes in the law. In Ohio, HB347 continues to see no progress in the Republican controlled Ohio Senate.

The amount of pro-gun legislation that has been passed in the country in the last 20 years is mind boggling. The NRA produced a 20 minute video to cover the topic for their annual meeting last year. Yet the accomplishments in Ohio can be counted on one hand. That is certainly not the Democrats fault.

This is a pivotal year in Ohio. All statewide offices are up for election. Currently three of five are unfriendly to gun owners. We have the chance to elect all pro-gun candidates to these offices, but they will not win without our support. Buckeye firearms has endorsed both Republicans and Democrats in many races and will continue to add endorsements in the coming weeks. See our candidate voter guide for a list of endorsements.

Ohio is more than a decade behind the rest of the country in passing laws that help crime victims win their battles with criminals. It’s time for a change. Buckeye Firearms is not interested in “tweaking” our firearms laws, they need to be overhauled. Buckeye firearms is going to work on passing strong concealed carry legislation, and castle doctrine legislation, and Katrina legislation, and a definition of “loaded” and many other areas where Ohio has failed to keep up with the times. Passing one bill every two years is not acceptable; we need to pass many improvements next year. Ohio gun owners will have a friend in the Governor’s mansion next year, so our prospects to make real change have never been better. But we need to insure that our next Governor is surrounded by other elected officials who will work with him. Passing legislation is a team effort, and the game starts now. By being part of the team to help elect pro-gun candidates you will strengthen our hand at the bargaining table.

I’m tired of reading news from all our surrounding states that are fixing problems while we are forced to live under Ohio’s out-dated laws. I know many of you feel the same way because you have volunteered to become part of the Buckeye team. Thank you. You are the ones who help us achieve victory at the ballot box which will be followed by victory at the statehouse. We have watched long enough as other states move forward. Now it is our turn. This is our time, and we will not let this opportunity escape us.

Related Story:
NRA-Backed Castle Doctrine Bills Become Law in Michigan.

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